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Death at IIT-K : students oppose inquiry panel

The students of IIT-Kharagpur have expressed dissent over the appointment of Justice (retd) U C Banerjee to investigate the death of a student on March 22 leading to the resignation of director Damodar Acharya.

Written by Shiv Sahay Singh | Kharagpur | Published: March 28, 2009 4:52:38 am

Since the chairperson of the inquiry commission was earlier the guest lecturer at the institute,it is claimed he may not give an independent decision on the incident

The students of IIT-Kharagpur have expressed dissent over the appointment of Justice (retd) U C Banerjee to investigate the death of a student on March 22 leading to the resignation of director Damodar Acharya.

The board of governors of the institute constituted a one-man committee headed by Banerjee on March 25 after students alleged that medical negligence caused the death of third-year student Rohit Kumar at the campus.

According to institute sources,Banerjee,a former Supreme Court judge and Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court,was a guest lecturer at the Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Rights of the institute.

He taught labour law to third year law students and has judged competitions at the institute and hence,the students claim,he cannot give an independent decision on the incident.

The chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT-K,B Muthuraman,who visited the institute to pacify the agitating students on Friday,met students’ representatives and assured them to look into the matter. The students also raised the issue of resignation of the director with Muthuraman and he is to reported to have said that those found guilty in the inquiry will be punished.

Students also put up placards and posters demanding justice for Kumar.

Even five days after the resignation of Acharya,it is still not clear that the board of governors will accept the resignation.

“I do not know whether the board of governors has accepted the resignation of Prof Acharya or not. But he is not coming to the office after March 22,” said D Gunasekaran,registrar of IIT Khragpur.

Institute sources,however,say the director is highly likely to be retained.

During the meeting with Muthuraman,the students also stressed on improving the facilities at the B C Roy Hospital.

The hospital,catering to 7,000 students and relatives of 800 teachers and hundreds of non-teaching staff,has 35 beds with seven doctors and three ambulances.

Students claim many of them have suffered due to the poor infrastructure of the hospital.

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